Six transgender soldiers and veterans walked the VMA carpet to "tell our stories and help people to realise that trans people are serving in the military just like everyone else," said Jennifer Peace, an Army captain.
She said that despite the president's efforts to ban transgender people from service, morale among the troops is high.
"Our unity is high because we know we're been doing this job, we know we're capable of doing the job... Our record stands for itself," Captain Peace said.
"We have trans service members in combat right now, asking, 'How can I be non-deployable when I'm openly serving as trans when I'm in Afghanistan today?'"
Jack Antonoff wasn't shy about sharing his political views as he walked the red carpet before the show. The singer-songwriter posed for photos with transgender military service members, saying it would be "absolutely insane not to" support them.
He called President Donald Trump's ban on transgender service members "the most transphobic, disgusting thing."
President Donald Trump on Friday directed the Pentagon to extend a ban on transgender individuals joining the military but gave the Pentagon the authority to decide the future of openly transgender people already serving.
"It's absolutely heartbreaking; a massive step backward, as is every day with Trump," Antonoff said. "All we can do is survive his presidency."